Daishika Maeda vs. Kyogo Furuhashi: Fierce “battle for the top 1” between Japanese FWs in Scotland | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Daishika Maeda vs. Kyogo Furuhashi: Fierce “battle for the top 1” between Japanese FWs in Scotland

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Shunsuke Nakamura (now Yokohama FC coach) shocked the world with two direct free kicks against Manchester United in the group stage of the 2006-2007 UEFA Champions League (European CL) season. Nakamura was a member of the prestigious Scottish League club Celtic at the time, which is now a Japan-friendly club with five Japanese players.

At his press conference for joining Celtic in 2005

Japanese players are very gentlemanly and humble on and off the pitch. They work hard and their behavior is really ‘first class’.

On July 19 and 22, Celtic played friendly matches against J-League teams Yokohama F. Marinos and Gan Ba Osaka. This was the comment of new coach Brendan Rodgers when asked by a reporter during the first match, “It is very unique to have five Japanese players in the team. The coach continued.

Having five people who are hardworking and do not cut corners in anything will be a plus in creating a disciplined atmosphere.

On the other hand, “Legend” Nakamura spoke of a disadvantage.

It is good that Japanese people can breathe together, but it is also difficult because there are too many of them. There is a possibility that they will be overly conscious of the fact that ‘he is playing in the game and I am not on the pitch,’ and they may feel pressured.

Kyogo Furuhashi (28) and Dainichi Maeda (25), who share the same position, may feel particularly negative emotions. Last season, when coach Ange Postecoglou (now Tottenham) led the team, Furuhashi played the No. 1 position and Maeda played the left forward role, so the two were never in a head-to-head competition. This season, however, Maeda is favored to play at the top of the lineup, raising the possibility of a fierce competition between the two Japanese FWs for the top position.

This match against Yokohama was the first stage of the test. While Maeda scored a hat trick in the first half alone, Furuhashi, who came on during the game, was unable to do much more than his job. Furuhashi, who scored a remarkable 34 goals in official games last season, grimaced after the game.

I tried to pull the ball out of the game and get out of the game, but I got into a bad situation. We gave up a lot of goals.

Kyogo Furuhashi made an appearance in the match against Yokohama F. Marinos on March 19.

For Furuhashi, Rogers’ vision of a central midfielder may be too challenging. Maeda explains it this way. The coach demands that the FWs drop down to the midfield and get involved in the ball. This is completely different from his predecessor, Angers.

For Furuhashi, who had been concentrating on his goal-scoring role on the front line, this tactic may be a different kind of burden. In fact, against Yokohama, Furuhashi was often crushed by opponents when he dropped back or lost the ball .

I would like to work a little harder on my positioning, connect the ball, play a relay role, and move forward more and more,” said Furuhashi.

That was Furuhashi’s comment.

Furuhashi was not selected for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar because he was inferior to Maeda, Takuma Asano (28 , Bochum) and Kisei Ueda (24, Cercle Brugge) in work other than “scoring goals positively”. So far this season, he has been slowed down by a condition problem, but if he can make his presence felt and shine for the new Celtic coach, he should be able to join the national team and become an ace in the game.

It is essential that Dainichi Maeda carry the momentum from a good start to the preseason into the new season opener against Los Angeles County on August 5. If he wins the starting lineup for the season opener, he will have a chance to compete consistently in the European CL, which starts in September.

For the Scots, who are ranked ninth in the UEFA rankings, their performance in the European CL will have a big impact. If they can show a remarkable performance there, it will surely change the way Moriyasu and the rest of the world look at them.

Maeda Dainichi aiming to establish himself in the starting lineup

Which of Furuhashi or Maeda will win the battle for the starting lineup and become a dominant presence in Europe? With Korean forward Oh Hyun-kyu and others in the squad, it remains to be seen how Rogers will use them, but it will be very interesting to see what happens next.

Nakamura himself looks back on his time with Celtic and expresses his regrets.

I was only able to show off my FK at the European CL level. I am happy that they still mention my FK against Man U, but I still feel that I should have raised my individual level.

Reo Hatate (25), Tomoki Iwata (26), and Yuki Kobayashi (23) are also in Europe. We look forward to seeing the emergence of a new player who will shake the world with his supreme fighting skills.

(Honorifics omitted in the text)

  • Interview and text by Etsuko Motokawa Etsuko Motokawa PHOTO Afro

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